by Telegraph Travel, The Daily Telegraph, October 11, 2016
Address: 17 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP
Details: 020 7729 9789
Leila's has big sociable tables, serves Monmouth coffee and has a grocery shop attached, selling - among other things - huge tins of Campbells tea. It is always busy at weekends and they do really good food as well, not something that always goes hand in hand with good coffee.
Fernandez & Wells
Address: 73 Beak Street, W1F 9SR
Details: 020 7287 4214; fernandezandwells.com
Fernandez & Wells gets seasonal beans from an independent supplier in the Midlands and serves fabulous Pasteis de Nata and homemade cakes, but the hardcore coffee drinkers should go for the grilled black pudding in a breakfast bun and you will definitely need coffee for that.
Address: 26 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR
Details: 07738 734 019; nudeespresso.com
Nude Espresso is a big, open space, like a diner, with an amazing range of small farm coffees, including from Brazil, Ethiopia, Costa Rica. They really ‘know their stuff”, from washed coffees and high altitude coffees to single origins and blends. It's the perfect place to energise before a day hitting the weekend markets. They've now opened in Soho Square.
The Lock 7 Cycle Cafe
Address: 129 Pritchards Road, London, E2 9AP
Details: 020 7739 3042; lock-7.com
Located right next to the Regent's Canal, Lock 7 is great for sitting down to read the papers over a Monmouth espresso while you're having your bike mended. It’s not just all about the coffee and you can get into conversation with other cyclists, before pedalling off home.
Address: 332 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 0AG
Details: 020 7739 4873
Bethnal Green locals wax lyrical about E Pellicci, and with good reason. The Grade II-listed caff has been going strong since 1900 and its long-term customers are treated like family. More than the food and coffee, it's that neighbourly atmosphere, not to mention an interior agreeably finished with wood panelling, Formica tabletops and stained glass, that make this spot an East End classic.
E. Pellicci in East London
Address: 63 Wilton Way, E8 1BG
Details: 020 7249 0444
In Hackney, cosy Wilton Way Cafe packs a lot in to its small quarters. As well as serving quality grub and Climpson & Sons coffee (although when things get busy you may have to wait a while for it), the site is also where London Fields radio is broadcast from. For locals who want a catch-up on news along with their pick-me-up, there's no better option.
Address: 1-4 Great Sutton St, EC1M 5PU
Central but secret, J+A Cafe is tucked away in a quiet courtyard off Clerkenwell Road. Simple but satisfying food is a focus here, with an unpretentious and homely menu providing options for breakfast, brunch and beyond. The initials stand for Johanna and Aoife, the two sisters who run the business.
Address: 9 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX
This eclectic food, drink and arts cafe offers afternoon teas, coffee, cakes and other light bites by day, and dark and sweaty basement dance parties by night, with a mix of old school tracks and the latest new music. Its playful and quirky ground floor interiors feature candy-coloured walls and counters, mismatched wooden chairs, board games and hanging ceiling decorations.
Address: 15 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AE
Details: 07833 393272
A tiny hole-in-the-wall bar leads up to an unexpectedly elegant upstairs cafe with the feel of a Victorian parlour, decked out with eclectic antique lamps, plush sofas and small tables. There’s something for everyone, as it serves both coffee and alcohol, along with sweet and savoury pastries.
Blue Mountain Café
Address: 18 North Cross Road, SE22 9EU
In its 20th year running, this bright and airy East Dulwich haunt is known for its fresh coffee, home-made cakes and dramatic interiors. Its mosaic shop front was created by Steve Wright, whose work has been purchased by luxury chains including Liberty, Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
Caffè Vergnano 1882
Address: various locations
Details: 020 7242 7119; caffevergnano1882.co.uk
The family-run Italian coffee bar chain (above) has been lauded by several food experts, from chef Gordon Ramsay, who described their coffee as "remarkably sublime", to food critic Giles Coren. It was named "Coffee Shop of the Year" in 2011 by What's On magazine.
- Soo Kim
Address: 17 Berwick Street, London W1F 0PT
Details: 020 7734 0370; flatwhitecafe.com
A Soho haunt popular with Australians and New Zealanders, both of whom claim to have invented the Flat White – a form of coffee typically involving a strong shot of espresso served in a small cup with textured milk giving it a strong, velvety taste – enhanced by decoration (usually leaves or a heart) on the top. And you don’t have to be Antipodean to enjoy it.
Address: 11-13 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QD
Details: 020 7833 8115; caravanonexmouth.co.uk
Caravan, a restaurant, bar and roastery no less is located within the buzz of Farringdon’s Exmouth Market, and is a haven for those who like their coffee beans freshly roasted on the premises. The emphasis is on “green coffee” sourced from single farms and estates where the focus is “quality, provenance, sustainability, freshness and fair relationships with the growers”. Regularly voted one of London’s best.
Tomtom Coffee House
Address: 114 Ebury Street, Belgravia SW1W 9QD
Details: 020 7730 1771; tomtom.co.uk
In the rarefied environs of Belgravia, Tomtom is a quirky little establishment in which master baristas deliver delicious-tasting espresso-based, cappuccinos and lattes which are light years away from the offerings of the big coffee chains. It stocks coffee beans from Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Sumatra which are also for sale to take away.
Monmouth Coffee Company
Address: Covent Garden, Borough Market, Bermondsey
If you're a London-based caffeine fan, you'll know the Monmouth Coffee Company. There's a constant bustle around this tiny bar in Covent Garden, known for its fine roasted filter coffees, which are all sourced from single farms, estates and cooperatives. Served with a decent selection of cakes and savouries.
With Jam and Bread
Address: Lee High Road, SE12 8RW
South-east London can feel a bit barren for coffee-lovers, so this recent arrival on the Lee High Road near Blackheath is most welcome. It's friendly, with an art space at the back - and it serves a mean espresso, ground and brewed on site. Milk comes from a single herd of Kentish cows.
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